ImpactAlpha, October 18 – The Central African country of Chad is one of the poorest in the world. Chad’s poverty extends to energy: the country of 17 million has just over 300 megawatts of installed generating capacity. Only 6% of the population have access to reliable power, mostly in the capital, N’Djamena.
Ziz Energie develops and operates mini-grid networks for smaller cities and has five such metro grids in operation. A €1.5 million ($1.6 million) loan from the French development finance agency Proparco will help Ziz deliver energy access to 500,000 people.
Mini-grids and solar home systems are Chad’s best bet for improving energy access in the near term, “in view of the serious affordability constraints, low density of the population, and the significant time and resources required to develop a national power grid,” according to the World Bank.
International off-grid energy players have little presence in Chad. The country’s most notable project is the Djermaya Solar project, a $20.6 million, 42-megawatt plant financed by Proparco, InfraCo, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and the African Development Bank.
Ziz is the only Chadian company to raise venture capital in recent years, according to Africa: The Big Deal. Energy Access Ventures and Dutch development bank FMO have backed the company in multiple equity rounds to boost solar and battery integration into its mini-grids, install street lighting, and develop rooftop solar for commercial and industrial companies.